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Thread: Banjolele/Banjo uke care?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2021
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    Default Banjolele/Banjo uke care?

    Hi! Does anyone have any advice on caring for a banjolele? I'm a complete newbie to music, and will be getting an Aklot banjolele soon. It's nothing fancy, but for my first proper instrument, I want to get the care right!

    I've heard some things about humidity control, letting strings settle, etc, but as I say, I'm a newbie! As far as I know, the skin on the Aklot banjolele is synthetic, and the body is maple. It will more than likely be stored in its case in my room.

    Any tips on taking care of a banjolele would be appreciated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Mine has synth head also. I don’t humidify it, but keep in case to keep dust off
    Last edited by harpdog cc; 05-26-2021 at 01:35 AM.

  3. #3

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    Wow, that's interesting. I never had one, I wish to learn more about it.

  4. #4
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    Give it a wipe down with a dry cloth after playing,at least twice a week.Otherwise,you are good to go!
    Soprano is what does it for me every time!*

    *Other Scale sizes are available and very popular with many players.

  5. #5
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    Florida
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    With banjo ukes especially, it is very, very , very important that they don't get lonely!!

    You will need at least two or three more to keep it company!!

  6. #6
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    The neck is still made of wood and so it (and the fretboard) may shrink if the humidity levels are low for extended periods of time. I humidify both my banjo and my banjolele in the winter. The head tension will likely loosen a bit over time (or may already be loose), so tightening it periodically may be a good idea, especially if it's a new head. But this gets you right into the "what's the right tension" territory, and things get a bit more complicated there!

  7. #7
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    Keep an extra set of strings on hand. Aquila and D'Addario make banjouke specific strings. But, most banjolele players use ukulele strings with no problems.

    Clean the fretboard when you change the strings. It is probably dyed-black unsealed wood. If it looks really dry you can use a cleaner/oil such as Music Nomad's F-One Oil. Or a lemon oil for instruments. The F-One oil may remove some of the dye. So check a small area first. In both cases just a very light application and wipe away any excess. Too much can make the wood swell. So once a year is about right.

    A lint-free soft cloth works to wipe the neck and body of the uke and the head. If you get a little schmutz on the wood or top, use a barely damp cloth to wipe it off and dry it right after.

    Keeping the proper head tension is something that is debated and discussed ad nauseam. Push down on the head about and inch from the edge. In the middle. Maybe take pictures of how much the bridge deflects the head from the top and underside of the head. Then if the head looses the tension, you'll have an idea of how much to tighten it. You can buy a wrench for the nuts on the hooks, or you can use a long socket driver to tighten the nuts. Working your way around the head doing the opposite nuts. So: 3 o'clock/9 o'clock; 4 o'clock/10 o'clock, etc.

    That's about it. They're pretty maintenance free.
    There is a subtle yet profound difference between the learning of something and the knowing of that thing.
    You can learn by reading, but you don't begin to know until you begin to try to do.

    --Lou Churchill, Plane & Pilot Magazine

  8. #8
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    UK
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knows Picker View Post
    With banjo ukes especially, it is very, very , very important that they don't get lonely!!

    You will need at least two or three more to keep it company!!
    I was warned about getting a uke at first - a friend told me that once I'd bought one, I'd surely end up with a whole family!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mivo View Post
    The neck is still made of wood and so it (and the fretboard) may shrink if the humidity levels are low for extended periods of time. I humidify both my banjo and my banjolele in the winter. The head tension will likely loosen a bit over time (or may already be loose), so tightening it periodically may be a good idea, especially if it's a new head. But this gets you right into the "what's the right tension" territory, and things get a bit more complicated there!
    Quote Originally Posted by Kenn2018 View Post
    Keep an extra set of strings on hand. Aquila and D'Addario make banjouke specific strings. But, most banjolele players use ukulele strings with no problems.

    Clean the fretboard when you change the strings. It is probably dyed-black unsealed wood. If it looks really dry you can use a cleaner/oil such as Music Nomad's F-One Oil. Or a lemon oil for instruments. The F-One oil may remove some of the dye. So check a small area first. In both cases just a very light application and wipe away any excess. Too much can make the wood swell. So once a year is about right.

    A lint-free soft cloth works to wipe the neck and body of the uke and the head. If you get a little schmutz on the wood or top, use a barely damp cloth to wipe it off and dry it right after.

    Keeping the proper head tension is something that is debated and discussed ad nauseam. Push down on the head about and inch from the edge. In the middle. Maybe take pictures of how much the bridge deflects the head from the top and underside of the head. Then if the head looses the tension, you'll have an idea of how much to tighten it. You can buy a wrench for the nuts on the hooks, or you can use a long socket driver to tighten the nuts. Working your way around the head doing the opposite nuts. So: 3 o'clock/9 o'clock; 4 o'clock/10 o'clock, etc.

    That's about it. They're pretty maintenance free.
    Some excellent points here, especially about head tension. I'm still picking up on the terminology and stuff, being a complete newbie to music, but I've heard this around a lot. I'll give it a look and have a play about! Thanks for the reponses
    Banjolele baby!!

  9. #9
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    Basically, some songs sound great on a banjolele, some don't. Some uke clubs have been known to ban them because they are so loud. Most don't have a problem with them, especially if you play it softly or mute them with a cloth in the back.

    Mostly, it's nice to have the option of playing the banjouke or a more standard ukulele.

    Both are fun. An all-wood or laminate uke is perhaps a little more versatile in the long haul. You can certainly learn the basics on either.

    Have fun learning. I haven't begun to explore all I can do with my tenor banjolele. I'm still strumming and picking it like a standard tenor ukulele.
    There is a subtle yet profound difference between the learning of something and the knowing of that thing.
    You can learn by reading, but you don't begin to know until you begin to try to do.

    --Lou Churchill, Plane & Pilot Magazine

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